Guo Ailun has become the first Chinese basketball player to sign with Nike’s Jordan Brand.
As part of the agreement, Ailun will participate in the brand’s Wings community programme, which contributes to community development in China and aims to inspire the country’s next generation of basketball players.
The deal is worth a reported US$1.4 million a year, and the announcement coincides with the 20th anniversary of the footwear supplier entering China.
“We’re excited to welcome Guo to the Jordan family,” said former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Michael Jordan, who himself is the face of the brand. “From his competitive spirit and style of play on the court to his strong personality off the court, he’s a great fit for the brand. We look forward to Guo representing the game, Jordan Brand, and ultimately himself in Greater China.”
24-year-old Ailun, who plays for Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) team Liaoning Flying Leopards, added: "Joining the Jordan Brand family is a dream come true. I’ve visualised playing like Michael Jordan since I was a kid - from managing the game and leading my team to a championship. It is an honour to be the first Jordan Brand athlete in China and I am thrilled to bring my love of the game to the brand.”
Ailun, who is also the first CBA player of any nationality to sign with Jordan Brand, has ended his partnership with Chinese sportswear supplier Li-Ning.